An Air India Express Boeing 737 was on a flight between Abu Dhabi and Kozhikode in India but was forced to turn back shortly after takeoff because one of its engines caught fire. The General Directorate of Civil Aviation of India reported this.
On February 3, 2023, at 02:11 am, an Air India Express flight departed Abu Dhabi for the southern Indian city of Kozhikode but was forced to turn back shortly after takeoff due to an engine fire. The Boeing 737–800 operated Flight IX 348.
India’s aviation regulator DGCA released a statement saying, in part: “Today, Air India Express B737-800 VT-AYC, operating Flight IX 348 on the Abu Dhabi-Calicut (Kozhikode) route, was forced to return due to a fire. engine number 1 at an altitude of 300 meters during the climb.
According to the airline, the plane made a safe landing, and none of the 184 passengers was injured. The Boeing 737–800 was taken over by Air India Express in 2009. As of the end of 2022, the 13-year-old aircraft has flown nearly 47,000 hours over 15,322 flight cycles.
This is not the first case of engine fires in the new year.
On January 10, a Delta Air Lines Boeing 757 aborted takeoff after flames were seen on the aircraft’s right side, followed by smoke engulfing the wing.
The flight departed John Wayne Airport in Orange County and was bound for Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. One of the passengers took a video during takeoff, which shows columns of thick black smoke rising from under the plane’s wing.
There were 172 passengers on board and fortunately there were no reports of casualties. The aircraft was eventually towed back to the boarding bridge and there were no reports of any disruption to the airport.
A few weeks earlier, in November 2022, an Aerostan Boeing 747-200 flying KW-4053 between Macau, China, and Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, suddenly stopped climbing about 3,000 meters after an engine failure.
The second Pratt & Whitney JT9D engine, located on the port side, began to make crackling and flashes of flame. The crew turned off the engine and returned to Macau, landing safely 40 minutes after takeoff.
This is the second incident in a week with an Air India Express plane making an emergency landing. An emergency was declared at Cochin Airport on 30 January when an AI Express Boeing 737 flying from Sharjah reported an alleged hydraulic failure.
The airport said, “an emergency was declared at 20:04 and the plane landed safely at 20:36”. There were 193 passengers and six crew members on board the plane, and no reports of casualties were reported.